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Top Ten Inspirational Books: Your Summer Reading List for Health and Fitness Success!

Nothing beats a relaxing afternoon on a deck, a dock, a porch, or a hammock with a good book!Just like any other muscle in the body, the brain requires exercise to keep it strong and healthy, so the phrase “use it or lose it” is particularly apt when it comes to your mind. Keep your brain healthy, and take time to relax this summer with one of our top ten inspirational books. This summer reading list is full of entertaining and motivating stories, recipes, fitness tips, and life hacks.

10. Don’t Sweat The Small Stuff, Richard Carlson

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Clear your mind of clutter and negativity with this short and sweet little book. The author aims to help readers focus on the good, and avoid negative stress, as “Stress is nothing more than a socially acceptable form of mental illness”. We firmly agree! Break your stress cycle, and make time to read a few pages of this book every day.

9.   Hardwiring Happiness, Rick Hanson

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Have you ever noticed how easy it is to latch on to negative thoughts and recall bad experiences? According to Rick Hanson, our brains have evolved to absorb negativity and deflect positive moments as a survival mechanism. Using a meditation-based approach, Hanson shows how we can train ourselves to escape our neurology, and live happier more peaceful and positive lives.

8.   The Marshmallow Test, Walter Mischel

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Picture your favourite indulgence. Is it a chocolate cake? A bowl of potato chips? A cheese pizza? Now picture yourself alone in a room with it. Could you stare down your treat knowing you could have double the reward later if you delayed gratification, or would you cave in and eat it?

According to psychologist Walter Mischel, our ability to calm our inner snackmonster can predict a great deal about the rest of lives, including test scores, savings accounts, and weight. Mischel shows us how to avoid “hot” impulsive actions and progress towards “cool” reactions on the path to mastering self-control

7.   The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People, Stephen R. Covey

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 Stephen Covey’s road map for living persuades readers that acquiring the seven habits of highly effective people will make you a better, more organized, and highly motivated person. He reminds us that we are in control of our destiny, with quotes like: “Sow a thought, reap an action; sow an action, reap a habit; sow a habit, reap a character; sow a character, reap a destiny.”

6.   How To Win Friends and Influence People, Dale Carnegie

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This book will motivate you to consider how you communicate, and how you make people feel .”The unvarnished truth is that almost all the people you meet feel themselves superior to you in some way, and a sure way to their hearts is to let them realize in some subtle way that you recognize their importance, and recognize it sincerely.”

5.   Make Your Own Rules Diet, Tara Stiles

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This is not your typical diet book. In fact, it’s not really a diet book at all. It’s part yoga instructions, part cookbook, part lifestyle workbook, and part meditation manifesto. The author’s approach stems from her experiences using yoga and meditation to recover from sexual assault and disordered eating. Stiles advocates against chasing calorie counts and using fitness trackers, and rather focuses on tuning into your body. “When food is made with love, it has a whole other set of healing properties you just can’t get even in the most perfect organic broccoli stem on the planet”

4.   The Big FAT Surprise, Nina Teicholz

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Fat has been a controversial ingredient, and a hot topic in international nutritional debates for years. Author Nina Teicholz seeks to redeem saturated fats, especially the fats in animal products like meat, eggs, and dairy. Her research led her to become a nutritional private eye, investigating the shaping of USDA guidelines and the politics and dodgy research involved. Teicholz debates the products that arose to fill the void that saturated fats left behind: vegetable oils (like Crisco), carbohydrates, and boatloads of sugar. The result is what she refers to as “The Snackwell’s-ification of food.” Regardless of your opinion on animal fats, Teicholz’s examination reopens the debate, and we’re hoping the discussion will continue.

3.   Drive, Daniel H. Pink

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 Gone are the days of “carrot and stick” motivation, according to author Daniel Pink. In Drive, he illustrates the fact that motivation comes from many sources and that at the highest level of performance, motivation come from your deepest and most profound sense of who you are and want to be. “For artists, scientists, inventors, schoolchildren, and the rest of us, intrinsic motivation–the drive to do something because it is interesting, challenging, and absorbing–is essential for high levels of creativity.”

 

2.  The Power of Positive Thinking, Norman Vincent Peale

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It’s scientifically proven that being optimistic makes you healthier, happier, and more likely to succeed. Unfortunately, it’s not always easy to see the glass half full! Author Norman Vincent Peale offers fantastic advice for “mastering the problems of everyday living”, and inspires the reader to take action.

“Action is a great restorer and builder of confidence. Inaction is not only the result, but the cause, of fear. Perhaps the action you take will be successful; perhaps different action or adjustments will have to follow. But any action is better than no action at all.”

 

1.   Awaken The Giant Within, Anthony Robbins

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Love him, or hate him, you’ve got to respect Anthony Robbins’ wild success as the most successful motivational speaker and writer on the planet. Unlike most motivational writers, Robbins treats training the mind and body as a technological challenge rather than a moral imperative, making it accessible to all.

“If I’m committed, there is always a way.” (He also says, “If we can (generate) the right emotion inside of us, we can get ourselves to do anything. If you don’t have the money, but you’re creative and determined enough, you’ll find the way.”